Thursday, October 21, 2010

NPR fires Juan Williams for thoughtcrime
Tom Smith

This is a little much, even for NPR.  Juan Williams gets fired for admitting that he gets nervous sometimes when he sees a man dressed in Muslim garb seated on an airplane.  What exactly is Williams's offense?  He's not allowed to be afraid?  The whole point of terrorism is to make people afraid, an emotion that is notoriously difficult to control.  One can't just get up in the morning and decide, today if there is a young man dressed in Muslim garb next to me on my coast to coast originating in Boston, I will not be afraid. 3000 dead will do that to you.  Or is it that Williams's dared confess his fear?  He didn't sound as if he was proud of his fear.  He wasn't saying we would be fools not to be afraid.  Is there some rule that says we must pretend not to be afraid, even if we are?  And then, to actually fire somebody for expressing these fears.  That is pretty outrageous, for a news organization that makes some pretension to being objective.  Of course, it is perfectly obvious they are not.  NPR is just a more civilized version of MSNBC, a perfectly reliable liberal organ.  But firing somebody over something like this is over the top.

I heard the story of a man, supposedly the friend of a colleague, who was scheduled to be on one of the planes the flew into the WTC, but decided not to get on the plane when he saw a group of Muslim men earnestly conferring at the gate.  Something, the story goes, didn't look right.  It seems relevant to me that one of the most fundamental principles of self-defense, that you will hear in any decent self-defense class, is, listen to those feelings.  Not be controlled by them.  But you ignore them at your peril.

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Tom Smith


If you listen to your feelings and refuse to get on a plane in a situation that makes you fearful, will the airline be required to reschedule you or refund your ticket price?

I don't think so. Whether for Muslims or bad weather, or both at the same time.

Posted by: Jimbino | Oct 21, 2010 9:08:04 AM

I become fearful and nervous when I listen to NPR, which is always an involuntary experience.

Juan Williams should have been fired from NPR. Why was he there in the first place? Why is any honest man still a liberal?

Posted by: james wilson | Oct 21, 2010 9:53:20 AM

There was a song when I was a kid, it went like this:

"Whenever I feel afraid,
I hold myself erect,
And whistle a happy tune,
That no one will suspect
I'm afraid.
Make believe you are
And the wish will take you far.
Make believe you are

That's NPR's standard for Americans, for the world's people who are not Islamic. We are to ignore reality and whistle a happy tune. I've been on airplanes on which young Arab men did the 2 forward, 1 middle, 2 rear formation after the plane left the ground. I know they were Arab cuz they looked it, plus they asked me to help them fill out their immigration card and arrogantly expected that I would. Nevertheless, I was afraid because they left their seats and went into that formation.

NPR thinks whistling a happy tune is enough. Juan Williams tells us that he's just like us in that he's aware that it is not.

Posted by: NotPC | Oct 21, 2010 6:59:03 PM

Juan Williams is just a victim of the unwritten but well-understood rule: today's liberalism is all about self-righteousness. They love to eat their own; it feeds their own sense of self-worth. It is a sickness, not a poltical philosophy.

Posted by: Buck O'Fama | Oct 21, 2010 7:12:58 PM

Well, torreysurfer, maybe because someone who's a member of a misogynistic fundamentalist religion that requires a costume, and some of whose members have committed acts of mass murder -- gives a lot of us the willies -- regardless of which religion. Maybe you're not old enough to remember some of the fine cults of the 1970s, but I am, and they were creepy, too. Not all of them were just bored upper-middle class nymphomaniacs, despite the stories and the fantasies.

Mexican, on the other hand, is a nationality. Furthermore, traditional garb is a marker for rural farm workers, not drug gangs.

Bottom line? Your long post is a straw man.

Posted by: Barry D | Oct 21, 2010 7:20:54 PM

Barry D:

Regardless of whether you agreed with my post, can we both agree it's more than a little strange it was deleted?

Posted by: Torreysurfer | Oct 21, 2010 8:47:07 PM

NPR is nothing but a bastion of liberal fascism. Juan Williams made the mistake of leaving the plantation and believing in the principles of the Enlightenment instead of the Progressives' actual principles espoused by Marx and Mussolini.

Posted by: Andrew | Oct 21, 2010 11:36:51 PM

As usual, conservatives stupidly refer to hard leftists as 'liberals'. There is nothing liberal about them, as evidenced by their firing of Juan Williams for leaving the plantation. They are illiberal, intolerant, and rigid.

Yet, conservatives continue to let the left define the battlespace for them. This is why the left won so handily, and the right has no clue.

Posted by: TTT | Oct 22, 2010 1:21:49 AM

They love to eat their own; it feeds their own sense of self-worth. It is a sickness, not a poltical philosophy.

If that were true, they would deplete themselves quickly.

But they are actually winning. Why?

Because the right is still stupid enough to call leftists 'liberals'. Until the right learns that there is nothing liberal about the modern left, the right will continue to be the losing side.

Posted by: TTT | Oct 22, 2010 1:23:18 AM

That's a rodger for TTT. We must always and everywhere attend to the Confucian rectification on names when we debate those people. They are always trying to put rabbits into hats by warping the language. It's so gay.

Posted by: Lou Gots | Oct 22, 2010 4:18:20 AM

It's not strange that torreysurfer's comment was deleted. I try to delete all comments that attack me personally, such as implying that I harbor racial animus toward some minority or other. The norm here abouts is, don't attack the bloggers or other commentarians personally, or your post shall be deleted, and if you persist, you shall be banned, if you are noticed and I get around to it, anyway.

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Posted by: swarovski | Oct 22, 2010 6:49:49 PM

I guess a "thoughtexperiment" is a worse than a "thoughtcrime." While I think it would be interesting to debate whether referring to one's own words used in one's own posts constitutes a "personal attack," let me state that it was not my intention to imply that Tom had animus toward any racial group. In fact, my post explicitly stated it didn't matter whether Tom had any animus towards a racial group for the purpose of the argument that was made. So while I contend no personal attack occurred, I apologize if that was how it was perceived. That wasn't my intention and I'm sorry if that's how it came across through the intertubes.

The gravamen of my argument was that Tom, who almost certainly has way, way, way more job security, not to mention a much narrower audience, than Juan Williams, would probably think twice before going on the most watched television show in San Diego and announcing that he is afraid of a particular group of people that constitute both (i) a significant number of members of his community and (ii) at least some number of his customers/students.

In fact, not only might Tom think twice about doing it, he apparently deletes posts that even discuss it.

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"something, the story goes, didn't look right. It seems relevant to me that one of the most fundamental principles of self-defense, that you will hear in any decent self-defense class, is, listen to those feelings. Not be controlled by them. But you ignore them at your peril."
i am in your side.

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